Pompeo blasts CCP, the WHO over coronavirus cases

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday blasted the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization for failing to alert countries worldwide about the coronavirus outbreak and neglecting to report accurate numbers of cases even as the outbreak continued to spread.

“We strongly believe that the Chinese Communist Party did not report the outbreak of the new coronavirus in a timely fashion to the World Health Organization,” Pompeo said during a news briefing at the State Department.

Even after notifying the WHO of the outbreak in the city of Wuhan in December, the ruling Communist Party “didn’t share all of the information that it had and instead covered up how dangerous the disease was. It didn’t report sustained human-to-human transmission for a month until it [the illness] was in every province inside of China.”

Pompeo went on to say that Beijing censored those who tried to “warn the world” and destroyed existing samples of the virus to halt testing.

“The CCP still has not shared the virus sample from inside of China with the outside world, making it impossible to track the disease’s evolution,” he said.

The US’ top diplomat expressed ire for the WHO, saying the United Nations agency’s “regulatory arm clearly failed during this pandemic.”

The US after the 2003 SARS outbreak led a reform of WHO rules on how countries report public health threats, resulting in international health regulations that went into effect in 2007 that outlined how countries disclose data.

Those rules also gave the WHO’s director-general the ability to go public when a country failed to follow those guidelines.

“That didn’t happen in this case either, ” Pompeo said.

“We continue to insist this is an ongoing requirement for transparency and openness,” he said, adding the reporting is “critical to saving lives today and in the future.”

As tensions continue to rise between Washington and Beijing over the pandemic, the Chinese ambassador to the US called for a “serious rethinking” of the relationship.

“I think I should be hoping for more than just a pause in tensions, but really a serious rethinking of the very foundations of this important relationship,” Cui Tiankai said at a Bloomberg New Economy webcast on Tuesday.

President Trump and other world leaders have been highly critical of China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and even suggested Beijing face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible.”

But Cui said China has been transparent about reporting the number of cases and accused US lawmakers of being “preoccupied in their efforts for stigmatization and groundless accusation.”

He said the world’s two biggest economies have a “Shared Vulnerability” because of the pandemic.

“Hopefully this pandemic will teach all of us a good lesson,” he said, adding that the relationship should “be based on a more realistic, forward-looking foundation.”

In China, the Communist Party’s propaganda machine is working overtime to put a shine on the government’s coronavirus response while ensuring any dissent from its citizens is thwarted, according to the New York Times.

Three citizen journalists who posted videos from Wuhan in the early days of the outbreak disappeared and were believed to be in government custody, the report said. One has reappeared, but has been posting videos markedly different from earlier ones.

And while it has hidden the misery of life inside China during the pandemic, the CCP through state-run media paints the response in other countries as an “apocalypse” and has run photos of American health care workers wearing garbage bags as protective equipment.